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Old July 6th, 2005, 06:33 PM   #1
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Wireless lav setup for Steadicam jr

Hello,

I've started making introduction/informatonal videos and have been using a wired laviler mic setup up till now. It has worked fine although you can sometime see the cord when I move. These are one person (myself plus one cameraman) videos so the scale of production is pretty small time. The camera is a consumer Sony HC-85 with a mini-phono mic input.

As the title says, I've just gotten a Steadicam jr and as you can imagine, I can't have wires hanging off it without upsetting the balance. I'm mostly shooting outside or in a moving car. I can't see any situations where I'd need to be more than 10-20 feet away, but we may sometimes want to record someone in the car with the windows closed.

I think a setup where the receiver would mount to the camera shoe would work well for the steadicam. Budgetwise, I'd think $200 would be great, but I'd grudgingly spend $300. Above that, I'll just won't record audio from the steadicam!

Another possibility is to move to a shotgun mic. Since this would be outdoors are there any suggestions? Again only need around 5-10 feet of range on this but good wind rejection would be helpful.

I guess this turned into a 2 part question! Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old July 6th, 2005, 08:21 PM   #2
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Colin:

If you do use a wireless, make sure to also use a little ear monitor--not hard to find one with a lightweight enough cable to not upset the stability. It's just risky to record wireless sound without monitoring for dropouts.

A shotgun mike might make the JR a bit unwieldy balance-wise, but if you can get it trimmed out you may actually discover a new level of stability in your system (the long horizontal will act a bit like a tightrope walker's pole).

Another thing to consider is to record "double system"...use a minidisc recorder or even a good quality voice recorder with a lav mike on your talent and record the sound separately from the camera, then you can sync it up in your NLE. You will need to use an audible sync marker like a clapper slate, or simply have the actor announce the take and clap their hands.
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Old July 6th, 2005, 08:51 PM   #3
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Thanks for the comments Charles. I've been thinking more about a shotgun like the Rode VideoMic. Not too much money and since I'm looking for more weight anyway, I figured it might help with this as well. I actually have car wheel weights taped to two locations on the stage (actually under it) to get me closer to 2lbs. My HC85 is around 1.5 lbs.

I can probably arrange things so that when I need to address the camera, it's on a tripod and wired through my current setup. I'm assuming that when you switch from Lav to shotgun, the audio will have a different enough quality that the transistion wouldn't be seemless? Am I correct on this?
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Old July 6th, 2005, 08:59 PM   #4
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I would think that would depend on the environment and how you treat the transition in your edit...a short crossfade can work wonders (not to mention a well-placed music bed!)

I'm also a fan of Bias' product SoundSoap, which can do amazing things with excess background noise (such as you might get with a shotgun from a significant distance).
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Old July 13th, 2005, 03:52 AM   #5
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Thanks for your reply, I noticed from another post you are laid up in bed. I guess this is why you are finding the time to reply to everyone's posts (however simple the question) Get well soon.
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